Skye & Minch and the North West mainland
A circumnavigation of Skye could include the puffins and seals of the Shiants and possibly the Summer Isles near Ullapool or the sub-tropical gardens at Inverewe. We might stop at the picturesque towns of Portree on Skye or Plockton on the mainland before tackling the tidal race at Kyle Rhea between Skye and the mainland.
The Shiants (pronounced “shants”) are a group of three small islands situated to the east of Lewis and north of Skye.
They are privately owned and uninhabited and the only access to the islands is by chartered boat, normally from Stornoway, or in your own yacht. The islands are home to large colonies of seabirds and are gloriously isolated and rugged. The bird population has markedly increased since a rat eradication programme in 2017. The tides in this area of the Minch are particularly fierce and attract large groups of feeding dolphins and whales.
Between north west Skye and the mainland lie the islands of Raasay and Rona, with quiet anchorages and walks giving stunning views over the Inner Sound to the mountains of Torridon.
The anchorages on Skye itself are spectacular - the backdrop of the Cuillins when anchored in front of the distillery in Loch Harport, the longest inhabited castle at Dunvegan, the towering ruins of Duntulm castle, the jaw-dropping Loch Scavaig - all are memorable.
Further south on the mainland is the Knoydart Peninsula, an area accessible only by boat or by a long walk in. Here it’s possible to put climbers and walkers ashore in Loch Hourn and pick them up in Loch Nevis. After a strenuous day’s walking, the comfort of Stormdancer’s accommodation is most welcome!